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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

5 reasons I’d like to be psyched for ‘Bolt’

I look out across the seared moviescape that is November — bereft of a Harry Potter movie to be psyched for — and I’m finding it hard to find 5 movies I’m genuinely excited about. I found 3 to talk about last week, but I’m having to fake it a bit for these last 2. Here’s 5 reasons why I’d like to be excited about No. 4 (but am having trouble with): Bolt [opens wide November 21].
1. It’s a Disney animated movie. I remember the days when this was something to be thrilled at the prospect of: the days of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King and Toy Story. But then Howard Ashman died, nevermore to write beautiful lyrics, and Pixar took off on its own, and things haven’t been the same since. On the other hand, I was in a minority in actually liking Disney’s most recent toons, Meet the Robinsons and Chicken Little, so perhaps I’m wrong to temper my optimism. And hey, wait! Disney just gave us Wall-E, which will be hard to beat as one of this year’s best films, animated or not. Except… Disney only distributed that one, and did not, in fact, have a hand in producing it (ditto for last year’s Ratatouille). So I’ll stick with my tempered optimism for the moment.

2. Miley Cyrus? Ugh. I’d say I was grateful that it’s just her voice, and not her annoying tween bubbliness we have to deal with, but I’m not all that impressed with her voice, either.

3. John Travolta. Was his drag performance in Hairspray enough of an indication that he has a sense of humor about himself to pull off the voice of a dog?

4. A dog who thinks he’s a superhero because he plays one on TV? I’m seeing a lot of reasons to pick this apart… like, doesn’t Bolt have a stunt dog? Doesn’t he notice that he spends most of his day in front of a green screen? I know, I know: I’m being picky. I’ll trust that the writers know what they’re doing and hope they don’t crush all semblance of reality out of their movie about a talking dog.

5. The crazy-eyed little hamster is adorable. Nope, no caveats: he’s just cute as a demented button.



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  • I’m with you on Chicken Little and especially Meet the Robinsons. They were neither of them perfect movies, but I quite enjoyed them, and they had their really funny moments. I dunno, maybe they’re just hurt by comparisons to the Pixar movies, because I can’t understand why we’re in the minority on them.

  • Fett101

    “Except… Disney only distributed that one, and did not, in fact, have a hand in producing it”

    John Lasseter’s hands have been around this movie. There’s hope.

  • I loved Meet the Robinsons, especially the guy in the bowler hat! I didn’t love Chicken little though. Not sure why.

    Cautiously looking forward to Bolt. One of the trailers got me, I think it was the hamster!

  • everstar

    My favorite thing in the trailers is the hamster, still ensconced in his plastic ball, growling, “I’ll snap [the guard’s] neck.” I’d be afraid if I were that guard.

  • JT

    What about “Dear Zachary”? I saw it this weekend and it was one of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen. I thought you would be psyched for it.

  • I liked Meet the Robinsons too–indeed, I even have a copy of it in my DVD library that I got for Christmas.

    I wasn’t that fond of Chicken Little–but, hey, we can’t agree on everything.

    That said, I’m not particularly looking forward to Bolt. I don’t believe Pixar had a monopoly on good ideas for animated films but then I’m not yet convinced that this film is a good idea.

    Perhaps I’m getting sick of talking animals flicks.

    Anyway, contrary to what some here might tell you, there’s no law that says you have to like anything that’s coming out in the near future…

  • Saw Bolt

    Had an opportunity to see Bolt. Its way better than Meet the Robinsons. As to your 1-5 concerns:

    1) Disney is BACK – this movie proves it. It has pixar comedy with disney heart. Lassetter at the helm has totally turned it around.
    2) You don’t have to look at Miley and she’s only in the 1st and 3rd acts.
    3) Travolta’s voice works as a dog. I totally forget its him.
    4) That’s quite the logical concern you’ve got there. When you hear the Director character in the movie explain the set up, you’re concerns her will melt away (mostly, I mean some leap of faith does have to made I guess – starting with the dogs TALKING to cats!).
    5) Yup. the hamster rocks!

    Twlight may go #1 the first weekend with its fan girls, but Bolt’s word of mouth will be “fully awesome” and it will be strong through Christmas (unlike twlight).

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